IN THE YEAR OF ITALIAN FOOD, LET’S KNOW BETTER THE ITALIAN CUISINE

IN THE YEAR OF ITALIAN FOOD, LET’S KNOW BETTER THE ITALIAN CUISINE

The 2018 of food looks good, as widely discussed in one previous, successful article. Besides the food trends and startups, I would also like to underline that 2018 will be the year of Italian food, so what better time to organize a trip to admire the beauties of Belpaese and enjoy its delights?

As you surely know, In Italy we take food matters really serious. The Italian is one the most beloved, imitated, interpreted, sometimes even "raped" cuisine in the world, so, in this important year for my country, I would like to let you know better what, in reality, is the Italian food. I’ll start by debunking and dispelling some myths existing from too many years. I assure you will be surprised.


THE SALAD OF DISCORD

So many years ago, discussing with my Italo American cousin, Angelo, he told me: - “Antonio, if driving in the USA you see “Italian Restaurants” and “Caesar Salad” on the same wall, you can be sure they are not Italian.”

A couple of years ago, in Aruba, while serving an Italian Menu at one catering, one woman approached me and said: “ Tony, your Caesar Salad was awesome, it’s my favorite Italian dish.”

On hearing this, I tried to explain to her the Caesar salad is not properly Italian, but the woman didn’t want to listen to reasons. For her the Caesar Salad was Italian.


In fact, the Caesar salad is universally recognized as one Italian excellence but in reality is a dish in Italy nobody knows. Why?

The matter is this salad, good anyway, was effectively invented by an Italian chef, Cesare Cardini, born in Baveno, on the shore of Lake Maggiore and then emigrated with his family to the USA, where on 4th July 1924, he launched the first Caesar salad, giving it his name. Having been invented by an Italian chef, people automatically thought it was an Italian dish, but in fact, it isn’t. Keep in mind when traveling to Italy


BLEND EACH PASTA FORMAT WITH THE CORRECT SAUCE

During your journey in visiting the Italian heritage cities, you will surely stop in Bologna. After a long day spent between the “oldest university in the world” and the “Two Towers” place, you will pick one typical Osteria to indulge one of the best Italian cuisines.

In ordering the “Spaghetti Bolognaise,” after a first disbelief watch, the waiter would probably turn down your request explaining “Sorry we do not serve it.” So you, with as much disbelief, would argue “How is it possible? We are in Bologna!”


Probably you will be astonished to know that Spaghetti Bolognaise is not Italian. Can you believe it? Let’s speak frankly. Both elements, taken separately are the cutting edge of Italianity. Spaghetti is often used as nickname for those who come from Belpaese, and their importance in Italy is widely shown by the fact that they have, along with the coffee, even their own hand gesture: the rotating hand with fore and middle finger simulating a fork (maybe it’s better to show than explain). The Bolognaise, or better, Bolognese (in Italian) aside tomato and pesto, is the most worldwide beloved sauce to relish your pasta, so, what’s wrong with Spaghetti Bolognese? Simple, the pairing.

Bologna is the city of lasagne and tagliatelle, so the perfect match for its delightful sauce is with the latter, obviously more than with the lasagne, while the Spaghetti Bolognaise is a dish invented by someone just to meet tourists’ needs.

The pasta-sauce pairing is a really serious matter in Italy, so to enrich your culinary culture, avoid some mistakes and astonish your Italian friends, here’s a quick matching guide:

Tomato sauce→Spaghetti/Gnocchi

Arrabbiata (Tomato hot sauce)→Penne

Pesto→Bavette (flat spaghetti)/Trofie

4 cheese→Penne

Carbonara→Spaghetti

Amatriciana→Bucatini

Ricotta→Paccheri

Seafood→Linguine

Put it to good use.


ALFREDO AND HIS SIBLINGS

Fettuccine Alfredo: invented in Italy by an Italian, widely known and consumed in the whole of Italy but meanwhile unknown in the whole Italy, doesn’t it sound like nonsense?

In 1908 Alfredo di Lello, in his grandma’s little trattoria, invented this recipe relishing the pasta with butter and Parmesan, as a restorative for his wife Ines who had just given birth their first son. The dish was later spread worldwide with its name, Fettuccine Alfredo, while in Italy it remained “Pasta Burro e Parmigiano” as it is still known actually. That’s why everybody in Italy loves “Pasta Burro e Parmigiano,” but nobody knows “Pasta Alfredo.”



Meanwhile, this dish is notorious to be the benchmark for someone who can’t cook, so it’s not unusual to hear such phrase as “Marco is a good guy but can’t cook, he’s able just to prepare the pasta burro and parmigiano.”

What I can assure is that in Italy, you won’t find anywhere the various Alfredo’s siblings, such as shrimps Alfredo, chicken Alfredo, and so on as it would be a mission impossible to locate an Alfredo sauce glass in a groceries store.


THE HOSPITAL MEAL

You enjoyed your Fettuccine alla Bolognese or your Pasta Burro and Parmigiano, and now you would like some meat as main course so you opt for a “Chicken Parmigiana.” With a more astonished face than the previous one for Spaghetti Bolognaise, the waiter would likely reply you “ Sorry, we don’t have it,” so you switch “Then a Chicken Marsala” “Never heard of it!”

The origins of “Chicken breast any style” are unknown but for sure they were invented by some Italian emigrants combining a meat type widely known and consumed out of Italy (the chicken breast) with typical Italian ingredients such as Parmesan cheese and Marsala.



Consider in Italy the roasted chicken is largely known and appreciated while the chicken breast, grilled or boiled, in collective imagination is most times associated with hospital meal. Don’t ask me why - it’s merely a clichè. Personally, I love the grilled chicken breast,

If you would like to enjoy a typical Italian meat dish, indulge one “Tagliata” or one “Bollito Misto.” You won’t regret it.


FINAL CONSIDERATIONS AND AFTER MEAL

Might you accept some further advice?

Do not mix in the same dish salad and lasagna, do not put parmesan cheese on seafood pasta, and if you care for your life, do not ever order, never, one Pineapple pizza, especially in Naples.

Last but not least, after enjoying your great Italian dinner, for sure, you would like to end in a great way, so you order...a cappuccino! No! Absolutely not!

The cappuccino is the prince of breakfast, perfect with a hot Nutella croissant, maybe to dig inside, but it’s the number one enemy of dinner. First of all, as far as taste goes, after a delicious dinner, the sweet hot milk foam would taste like a Nemesis for your palate, then also might result in some stomach and/or intestinal problems.



Do not be surprised if in the restaurant of some remote typical Italian village you find a sign “WE DO NOT SERVE CAPPUCCINO AFTER 15:00.”

The content and purpose of this article is pretty funny and informative; there is no willingness to offend anybody and/or change his food habits.

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